Today at an historic ONE Championship event, Ben Askren leaves MMA for good. His retirement match was against a legend in his own right, grappling wizard and multiple-time former champion, Shinya Aoki. Askren slammed the former ONE lightweight champion Aoki down after he pulled guard, then it was basically all over from there. After some thundering ground and pound, the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, awarding Askren a technical knockout for his final victory in MMA.
“Listen, I told someone this the other day, and this is something I ca0n be totally proud about, I hope I don’t eff this up while I’m telling it live: I have never turned down a fight, I have never pulled out of a fight, I have never missed weight, I have never failed a drug test, and I have never lost. And I don’t know that anyone else can say that, ever.” —Ben Askren on a previous episode of The MMA Hour.
While he doesn’t rule out returning to MMA for a huge superfight, for now Askren is content to end this chapter of his life. Now that Askren has fought his final battle, he will walk away from the sport an undefeated record of 18 wins. While Askren never got to fight within the UFC against he likes of Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald, or Robbie Lawler, he doesn’t regret his career one bit. Not only that, but he fought smart, sustained very little damage in his career, made great money and will enter into an executive position with ONE. All in all, that’s not bad. Not bad at all. We wish Ben Askren the best of luck in his future endeavors.
— FloCombat (@FloCombat) November 24, 2017
“Obviously I wasn’t granted the opportunity to fight the best guys in the world. [Douglas] Lima and [Andrey] Koreshkov, they’re pretty freaking good, and I still don’t think they get their due for how good they really are. People are so resistant, if you don’t have the UFC behind your name, to give you the credit you deserve. So I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to fight some of the best guys in the world, and that was not something that was on my end by any sense of the imagination — and so yeah, I am definitely satisfied. I don’t really think there’s anything I could’ve done differently, or would have done differently.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/24/2017